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Lifelong Learning

Two district leaders retire after decades of service to Moorhead Area Public Schools

November 29, 2017

Two school district leaders who have focused on service to the students and families of Moorhead Area Public Schools throughout their more than 30-year careers in education are retiring at the end of November.

Dan Bacon began driving a school bus in 1978, and he worked briefly as a custodian and then for the Boy Scouts of America. He retires after working since 1986 as transportation director for Moorhead Area Public Schools. From 2008 to 2015, Bacon served as director of property services and transportation during a time when budget reductions combined two positions.

Superintendent Lynne Kovash retires after working in the district since 1988. A Moorhead High School graduate, Kovash started as a playground supervisor and since then has held roles as a long-term substitute teacher, a teacher at St. Ansgar Hospital for two years, a special education teacher at Riverside Elementary School for 10 years, a teacher on special assignment, assistant principal and transition coordinator at Voyager Elementary School, and supervisor of planning and assessment. She was named assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in 1999 and worked in that position for nine years before being named the district’s 10th superintendent in 2008.

Both Bacon and Kovash are leaders in their professions. Bacon was named the 2009-10 Transportation Administrator of the Year by the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation. He was nominated for both his work in the district and for his efforts in the community during the 2009 flood fight. Kovash is a past president of Minnesota Association of School Administrator and was named a 2017 Administrator of Excellence by MASA.

Both have numerous memories of their years in the district.

For Bacon, his memories include stories from drivers whose students or parents let them know that they appreciated what they do. He remembers winter storms that would not quit in 1996 and 1997 and floods that seemed to last forever in 1997, 2009 and 2010.

“Much of what I remember as major events were things that would go unnoticed at the time because when a transportation department is doing its job we are barely noticed at all,” Bacon said.

“I have so many memories of the district,” Kovash said. “Passing the two bond referendums in 2002 and 2015 were so special because so many people were involved, and it was a celebration of community.”

Both Kovash and Bacon will miss the people they have worked with over the years.

“I will certainly miss the personnel involved with the transportation of students,” Bacon said. “The dedication that all of them have — whether direct employees of the district or employed by one of our contracted transportation providers — is inspiring. All of them care deeply about what they do.”

Kovash has worked to lay a foundation for the love of learning for students and staff.

“I have supported the work of our staff to provide the best education for every learner in our district,” she said.

Bacon was instrumental in Moorhead being one of the first school districts in the state to use computerized routing, which created efficiency and reduced transportation costs.

“I hope I am remembered as being fair and consistent, and that I showed up when needed,” he said. He also wants people to remember how important it is to stop for school buses and watch for students while driving.

Kovash hopes people remember her love for the district and community.

“I hope I have helped our community understand the need for a strong public education and the support needed for that education to continue,” she said. "I hope I have helped our staff understand that they are all teachers — everyone of them touches the lives of our students.”

Bacon plans to look for another job or new adventure after he retires, and he plans to enjoy reading again and will strive to keep in good physical condition.

“I have spent a life of service to the students and families of Moorhead Area Public Schools,” he said. “I am hoping I can find a way to continue to be of service somewhere.”

Kovash is retiring to spend time with her family and focus on her health. An avid reader and advocate for lifelong learning, Kovash hopes to take Community Education classes and will remain involved in education as a retired member and past president of Minnesota Association of School Administrators.

Photo: Dan Bacon, director of transportation and student safety, and Dr. Lynne Kovash, superintendent, retire in November after long careers with Moorhead Area Public Schools.

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